Saturday, September 23, 2006
They're Futile (Carly Simon)
I believe Margaret Atwood once said something to the effect of, if you write something and call it nonfiction, then everybody will assume you made it all up, but if you call it fiction, then everybody wants to know who all the characters were in real life. This is interesting, to me.
Way too much time and thought has already gone into trying to figure out who this song is about. Check out the Wikipedia post on the subject. Granted, some of this is because Carly Simon herself has given conflicting answers on the matter, saying sometimes that the song is a composite of several lovers, and sometimes that it's a specific person, so she's partly to blame for the continued interest. But even so, the song seems to me like it's actually about her. Fuck the guy: you're supposed to be paying attention to what her experience was, and how she feels about it. No wonder the guy's vain: he's the part of the song the whole world is interested in. Forget Carly Simon.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
You went into the party on a yacht. You went in such a way that
your hat, which was strategically immersed under an eye,
was an apricot. Your scarf
had an eye on the mirror, while you watched a gavotte.
All the girls would be your partners, and they
would be your partners, and . . . which ones of them?
You dreamed you're futile; thus, you think this song is probably over.
(Thus, you are futile.) I bet you're thinking that this song isn't
yours. That's not it?
Before you had me to unite the years, I was rather naïve. Still, when we
formed such a pretty pair -- well, we
would never go for that. And you,
however: you gave things away, one of which loved you. They were the dreams.
I had my coffee. Clouds were united with
clouds, and in my coffee...
She said I had some dreams, and clouded my coffee.
Clouds were in my coffee, and,
well, you went up to your horses in Saratoga. Naturally, I heard that and then flew
up to New Scotland in their Lear jet.
The sun was eclipsed, over
there where you saw the time. You should see well; you won.
(And if not, you are that whole you with
any underworld spy.) The close woman friend of a
close friend is a woman, and is.